UAE Android users failing to protect against mobile threats
Nearly half of all UAE Android phones and tablets lack malware protection
Lack of awareness of security threats to mobile devices is causing many Android users in the UAE to leave their handsets unprotected, according to a survey by Kaspersky Lab.
The survey found that 29% of Google Android users in the UAE were not aware of the existence of cyber threats targeting mobiles. Only 51% of Android-based smartphones and 56% of Android tablets are protected by an anti-virus solution, while 25% of smartphones and 31% of tablets are not even password-protected.
Globally, 18% of unprotected Android-based smartphones contain precisely the information that attackers are most eager to find: PIN codes for bank cards, passwords to online banking systems and other financial data. Twenty-four percent of them store passwords to social networks, personal and work e-mail, VPN and other sensitive resources. Even though users can't be bothered to set a password to stop unauthorized access to their devices, they still store personal emails (49%), work emails (18%), as well as the "data that they would not want anyone to see" (10%) on their smartphones.
Furthermore, Android users encounter online threats more often than the users of Windows-based devices. The latter also know more about the dangers and tend to protect their devices in 9 out of 10 cases. Thus the survey found that over a 12-month period, 41% of smartphone users and 36% of tablet users faced malicious applications, 18% of smartphone users and 24% of tablet users had their online service accounts hacked, while financial cyberattacks affected 43% of smartphone users and 50% of tablet users. The average figures for all devices based on different platforms accounted for 31% (malicious applications), 14% (hacking online service accounts) and 43% (financial cyberattacks) - significantly lower than the Android-only figures.
"It is not surprising that mobile users are facing online threats more often now: devices are capable of doing so much more, and many more people are using them, so of course they will attract fraudsters. To avoid falling victim to scams, users are advised to protect their devices against cyber threats and be especially careful with any sensitive data stored on them," said Victor Yablokov, Head of Mobile Product Line at Kaspersky Lab.